Utah DABC Official: Snowbird’s Oktoberfest Will Get Liquor Permit

DABC Executive Director Sal Petilos (L) and Commissioner John Nielsen take questions during a legislative hearing on June 16, 2014.

DABC Executive Director Sal Petilos (L) and Commissioner John Nielsen take questions during a legislative hearing on June 16, 2014.

(KCPW News) Since late last month, there’s been a brew-ha-ha over at the Utah Division of Alcohol Beverage Control. That’s when DABC commission announced they were revisiting the intent of the statute regulating single-event liquor permits, putting events like Snowbird Ski Resort’s Oktoberfest in a liquor limbo.

On Monday, the state legislature’s Administrative Rules Review Committee invited DABC officials—including Commissioner John Nielsen and Executive Director Sal Petilos—to explain why the change in interpretation of the law was taking place. DABC officials explained that there was no change occurring, but that the regulatory body wanted to review how these single-event permits were being granted. Moreover, the DABC wants to ensure that no groups or individuals are making improper use of these one-time permits.

Throughout the hearing, members of the legislative committee expressed interest in revisiting the state’s alcohol laws in order to make them less confusing. Lawmakers were concerned that a similar flap with the DABC would be embarrassing for Utah and could perhaps even hurt tourism.

After the hearing, Nielsen said he anticipated Oktoberfest would earn the permit it seeks.